Neil Cavuto gasped. John Roberts lost his bearings. Still, others whimpered, but the bulk of Fox News viewers roared in celebration and President Trump himself took a whack at Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s surprise announcement of his departure.
During Friday’s “Shepard Smith Reporting,” the increasingly combative, anti-Trump news personality closed his program with an on-air public resignation of sorts.
Video by Fox News
At the sudden announcement, a spreading ripple of Fox News personalities reacted with shock.
It wasn’t exactly the Cronkite reaction to Kennedy’s assassination, but Cavuto followed Smith’s broadcast and was on the hook to deliver a bit of a surprise eulogy for his pal.
“I don’t know what to say,” he began. “Shepard Smith, as I said just a few days ago on this very network. A decent human being, a heart as big as Texas. I didn’t say Texas at the time. Maybe just all of Manhattan. Wow. I don’t know. A better newsman you probably cannot find. Again, a bigger, more emotionally-connected to humankind, you cannot find.
“So Shepard, I don’t know what the heck you’re planning to do or where you’ll go, but I just know you’ll be great at doing it, and you deserve the best that life has to offer,” Cavuto said. “So I’m sorry if I’m a little shell-shocked here but I’m going to miss my buddy.”
Cavuto went on to spin through the upcoming story headlines before turning to reporter John Roberts.
“I’ve just been trying to compile my thoughts, too,” Roberts said. “Neil, I walked out here to do the hit and suddenly got hit by a subway train. Holy mackerel. Let’s try to get to the news at hand as I digest the other news that we just heard.”
Watch the Cavuto reaction.
Video by Fox News
Later on, the president delivered a swift kick to the pants of the Smith as he went out the door.
Is he leaving due to bad ratings, or some other less important reason? https://t.co/XBr7xVgarc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Smith was leaving because of some recent run-ins with other Fox opinion show personalities such as Tucker Carlson, who recently kneecapped Smith for “pretending your angry political opinions are news” after Smith first criticized Carlson for comments by a guest.
As suspected: Tensions with Fox’s opinion shows was the breaking point for Shep Smith, a well-placed source confirms to me.https://t.co/eto316RHF3
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 11, 2019
“It feels like death in the news division,” a senior Fox employee told CNN about Smith’s departure, saying staffers at the network were “shocked” and that some were crying. “At least we had him.”“Who can fill that role?” another Fox employee asked.A third Fox employee, who said “staffers were openly weeping” after the announcement, noted that some staffers “were here and have stayed here solely for” Smith.“Don’t be surprised if there’s an exodus,” the person told CNN, adding, “Fox hasn’t just lost Shep today.”
Fox News star Sean Hannity was gracious in wishing Smith well.
I’ve always said there is nobody better at breaking news than Shep Smith. He has always done great things and I know he will continue to do so. Looking forward to seeing Shep crush it in whatever he does next.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 11, 2019
Beyond the expected proclamations of doom for their competitor network by CNN, and the giggling poke by the president, others were completely unrestrained in expressing their glee at the news that they could perhaps once again tune in to the supposedly conservative news channel during the afternoon hours.
ITS A CELEBRATION IN THE USA ?
SHEP SMITH IS FINALLY LEAVING FOX NEWS.
HIT THE ROAD Shepard Smith & don’t you come back no more no more!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) October 11, 2019
In fact, some are hoping for an exodus of liberal Fox News reporters to develop.
BYE BYE SHEP!!!!
— ?? TRUMP USA ?? (@MADE__USA) October 12, 2019
— You Seem Upset ? (@SvvyShopper1) October 11, 2019
I never watched his segments. If I wanted to hear what he had to say I’d just tune in to CNN, MSNBC, or one of the other networks.
— Kirk Crawford (@kirk_crawford6) October 11, 2019
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